BOLESLAWIEC, Poland - U.S. Soldiers assigned to the 1st Infantry Division gathered to honor Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Champagne, an Army musician and vocalist assigned to the 1 ID band as she was promoted to the rank of master sergeant on Dec. 29.
A master sergeant serves as the subject matter expert in their field and is a master at their professional military occupational specialty.
“Today we promoted Sgt. 1st Class Champagne to the rank of master sergeant," said U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Larry Dean, an Army musician and trumpeter assigned to the 1 ID band. "That is a tremendous opportunity for our Soldiers to watch someone who has led them throughout this whole deployment be recognized for the excellences that she is well deserved of.”
The Army is always evaluating the skills, performance and professionalism of their Soldiers and values exemplary Soldiers and their ability to take on even more responsibility.
“She is not just an asset to the 1 ID band but an asset to the entire division,” said U.S. Army Master Sgt. Nidia A. Cruz, a public affairs noncommissioned officer assigned to the 1 ID. “I’ve seen her take on the role as acting first sergeant during our deployment and she made sure that the entire team was taken care of.”
Champagne has been the foundation of the 1 ID band’s tour throughout Europe serving as the operations NCO.
“Sgt. 1st Class Champagne has been an integral part of our band,” said Spc. Mark Northup, an Army musician and saxophonist assigned to the 1 ID band. “During our 1 ID holiday band tour she visited the locations and helped pre-plan our tour throughout Latvia, Lithuania, and many bases throughout Poland.”
The 1 ID band is a musical ambassador for the deployed fighting force and contributes to the morale and support of the U.S. Soldiers, U.S. partners and allied military members.
“I just want to say, take care of each other and be positive no matter the situation you are in,” said Champagne. “The support of everyone around you is going to get you to the position you want to be.”
The 1ID band along with special guest U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Yves Pamphil, command sergeant major of Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 1 ID showed their appreciation by giving a standing ovation after her pinning.
“She is the kind of person that isn’t only an asset to our unit but is going to shape our entire band field in the future,” said Dean. “She's got vision that is well beyond any rank that she possesses and has a really good ability to communicate business with higher echelons and make sure that the organization is well nested within the mission for the commanding general.”
In gratitude for the support she has been given, Champagne ended her promotion ceremony with a solo vocal performance of “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban.
“All of our deployed 1 ID band here today are the people I work with day in and day out, so they mean the most to me that they could be here," said Champagne. “Truthfully I’ve been very appreciative, because I’ve worked really hard and the people around me have worked really hard to help me get here.”